Association between cycling to school and body composition, physical fitness and cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adolescents from Colombia: The FUPRECOL study
Abstract Objective: To analyse the association between cycling to/from school and body composition, physical fitness, and metabolic syndrome among a sample of Colombian children and adolescents. Study design: During the 2014–2015 school years, we examined a cross-sectional component of the FUPRECOL study. Participants included 2,877 youths (54.5% girls) from Bogota (Colombia). A self-reported questionnaire was used to measure frequency and mode of commuting to school. Four components of physical fitness were measured: (1) anthropometric parameter (height, weight, body mass index, and waist circumference); (2) musculoskeletal parameters (handgrip and standing long jump test); (3) motor parameter (speed-agility test; 4 × 10 m shuttle run); and (4) cardiorespiratory parameter (20mSRT: 20 m shuttle run test). The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was determined by the definitions provided by the International Diabetes Federation. Results: Twenty-three percent of the sample reported commuting by cycle. Active commuting boys showed lower likelihood (OR) of having unhealthy 4 x 10 m levels (OR = 0.72; 95% CI 0.53 to 0.98, p = 0.038) compared to the reference group (passive commuters). Active commuting girls showed a lower likelihood of having unhealthy 20mSRT levels (OR = 0.81; 95% CI 0.56 to 0.99, p = 0.047) and metabolic syndrome (OR = 0.61; 95%CI 0.35 to 0.99, p = 0.048) compared to passive commuters. Conclusion: Our results provide some evidence that regular cycling to school may to be associated to greater physical fitness and lower metabolic syndrome than passive transport, especially in girls.